May 4, 2023
Media Contact: Probation Media: 562-315-3388
Guillermo Viera Rosa Juvenile Operations Chief Strategist Named LA County Interim Probation Chief
Assumes Top Duties While Focusing On Juvenile Operations
LOS ANGELES (May 11, 2023) — Guillermo Viera Rosa, a former ex-officio member of the Board of State and Community Corrections and a leader in the probation and parole field with nearly 30 years of service, will become Interim Chief Probation Officer of Los Angeles County.
With Interim Chief Karen Fletcher’s departure, Viera Rosa will assume the position Friday. As Interim Chief, Mr. Viera Rosa will oversee the largest Probation Department in the country, with 5,520 employees responsible for supervising 28,917 formerly incarcerated adults and 339 pre-disposition and 153 post-disposition youth. In addition, there are currently 1,962 youth under probation supervision at home or in foster care.
“I am deeply honored to take on this role,” Viera Rosa said. “While it will give me responsibility department wide, I want to assure everyone that I remain committed and focused on restructuring our juvenile operations so that they will meet state standards in the long run even as we embrace the County’s ‘Care First’ model of juvenile justice.”
Mr. Viera Rosa has 27 years of service working in the field of corrections and probation. In 2016 then-Gov. Brown appointed him Director of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations. Then, in 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom reappointed him to the post, which qualified him as an ex-officio member of the BSCC.
In April, he resigned to take the job as LA County’s Chief Strategist of Juvenile Operations, a new position created by the Board of Supervisors to galvanize the County’s efforts to improve and stabilize conditions in the Department’s juvenile division.
Mr. Viera Rosa’s transition to Interim Chief comes as he, the Board and the County CEO’s Office mobilize to execute a plan to restructure juvenile operations by closing down Central and Barry J. Nidorf Juvenile Halls to pre-disposition youth and transferring them to Los Padrinos, which would be renovated to state standards.
Under the plan, Central will be converted to a law enforcement in-take center, while Nidorf will house Secure Youth Treatment Facility youth being returned from state custody. Staffing at all facilities will be boosted by adding several classifications of employees, including peace officers as on-call, substitute probation officers and County employees assigned to non-deputized tasks to free up sworn probation officers for direct supervision of youth.
Mr. Viera Rosa said County crews will be working around the clock to prepare Los Padrinos to house pre-disposition youth. He added that his new position as Interim Chief will also allow him greater latitude to make the staffing changes he needs in the juvenile division.
Although the BSCC Board will meet May 23 to formally consider the staff’s timeline, Mr. Viera Rosa said the County is embracing the timeline “because it is the right thing to do.”
“We are not turning back,” he said. “We agree with the BSCC’s staff conclusions that we should leave Central and Nidorf. We are pulling out all the stops to meet this extremely tight deadline. It will be close, but all of us are determined to get this done. Our youth and our staff deserve nothing less. We are committed to providing a safe and secure environment that gives the youth committed to our care a clear path to rehabilitation.”
Mr. Viera Rosa, who was born in Puerto Rico, got his start in the probation field by taking a part-time job as a reserve deputy probation officer at the San Bernardino County Juvenile Hall while attending college.
In 1995, he became a full-time probation officer and has been in the corrections field ever since, working his way up 15 ranks while serving in regional and state positions in Sacramento, the Central Valley, the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
In addition to Director of the CDCR Division of Adult Parole in 2020, Mr. Viera Rosa has served as CDCR’s Director of Policy Research and Internal Oversight. He has also served as a Deputy Commissioner and Corrections Counselor for the Board of Parole Hearings, CDCR Undersecretary of Operations, and Commissioner on both the Adult and Juvenile Interstate Compacts.